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Latest News

Dr Barbara Hardy AO, SA Senior Australian of the Year

Wonderful, wonderful news!!! Dr Barbara Hardy AO (NFSA co-founder and Patron) has been announced 2014 SA Senior Australian of the Year in the Australian of the Year Awards.

We are so thrilled that Barbara's lifelong commitment to science and the environment has been recognised. Barbara truly is a 'living legend' and inspires us all help Save, Protect and Restore our precious environment.

Read more about Barbara's achievements

Walk for Nature 2013

The Walk for Nature was held on Sunday 20th October with the  3km, 6km and 12km walks  attracting 388 registered enthusiastic walkers.

We have uploaded the photos from the day taken by our volunteer photographer, Graham Chilman, onto and the Walk for Nature video is available on YouTube (with thanks to the wonderful John Maguire who volunteered his time to shoot and edit the video).

Tiliqua Lizard Crawl – September 7 2013

Sixty people attended the Tiliqua Lizard Crawl on September 7.  Held on Threatened Species Day activities included looking for endangered Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard holes, creating artificial burrows and making 200 plasticine models of lizards for an experiment which tests whether bird predation differs between plots with different grazing pressure (and different levels of grass cover). Click here for our Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard brochure (PDF).

Nature Foundation SA sincerely thanks the Tiliqua Lizard Crawl event sponsors the Northern & Yorke Natural Resources Management Board and the SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board.

Water For Nature – Clark's Floodplain

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

Mr David Papps, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, officially launched the first flow of Commonwealth environmental water facilitated through Nature Foundation SA on Monday 18th February adjacent Clark’s Floodplain near Berri.

With over 70 attendees, the launch marked the start of a five year, first of its kind, agreement between the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder and Nature Foundation SA with an allocation of 50 gigalitres of Commonwealth environmental water over 5 years to rehabilitate River Murray floodplains and wetlands in South Australia. To give some context 1 gigalitre is the equivalent of one square kilometre by 1 metre deep.

100 megalitres of water will be used at Clark’s Floodplain and the primary targets are for the creation of a sustaining healthy Black Box community and to promote new germination of Black Box at a higher elevation.

For more information and link to live web cam refer

Welcome To Ian Atkinson - New CEO

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

We welcome Ian Atkinson as the new Chief Executive Officer of Nature Foundation SA. Ian Atkinson has over thirty years’ experience in agriculture and natural resource management. He holds qualifications in Agricultural Science, Horticultural Science, Science Communication, and Law. Most recently Ian was CEO of Irrigation Australia Ltd, whose mission is “Leading the development of a professional irrigation industry for healthy, sustainable urban & rural communities, and their environments.”

From 2006-2010 Ian was CEO of CRC for Irrigation Futures, an Environmental CRC that linked together 15 partner organisations. Their aim was to undertake and deliver research, education and training that gave confidence to growers, industry, government, and communities to invest in better irrigation, a better environment and a better future.

Ian grew up in the Mid-North of South Australia and has lived with his family in the Adelaide Hills for over 10 years. He is looking forward to working at a regional level on the delivery of great outcomes for the South Australian environment, and local communities.

Walk For Nature October 2012

Walk For Nature

The weather was perfect for our Walk for Nature with blue skies with lots of sunshine.

Over 500 participants enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the Heysen Trail through Mount George Conservation Park and Woodhouse Activity Centre.

We would like to thank all walkers, sponsors, volunteers and donors for joining and supporting us in 2012. The walk helped to raise over $33,000 towards our conservation projects.

Please view our album of photos on Facebook.

Welcome to Ecologist Greg Johnston

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

July 2012

We are pleased to welcome Dr Greg Johnston to the NFSA team as Conservation Ecologist. Greg comes to us with an extensive background in conservation ecology. Greg has taught at all the three SA universities in biodiversity and conservation, as well as being a research scientist at the Zoo for seven years. His field experience is extensive in Australia and overseas across a diverse range of species, including various reptiles and birds.

Greg will play a key role in planning and executing conservation work at our properties and our other programs.

Kangaroo Island Planting Festival at Cygnet Park

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

July 2012

Glossy black cockatoos will have their mouths full in the years to come, with participants at the Kangaroo Island Planting Festival sowing thousands of delicious Sheoaks around their nesting grounds.

This year's festival, held over the last weekend of June was a great success with over 57,000 seedlings planted in three days. Coordinated each year by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) the festival aims at restoring former pastoral land at Cygnet Park Sanctuary and adjoining properties.

This year volunteers and staff alike were out in force, despite the slightly soggy conditions. Regardless, there were plenty of sunny moments to stop and take in the views. Groups from Uni SA and Conservation Volunteers Australia were amongst those taking part, with a total of 16 different nationalities being represented on the day.

Many endangered and endemic species were planted over the weekend, including Turpentine Bush, Small-flowered Daisy-bush, Western Swamp-paperbark, and KI Phebalium to name a few. DEWNR staff spend all year carefully collecting seeds and propagating the seedlings in preparation for the festival.

We here at Nature Foundation SA, as co-owners of Cygnet Park sanctuary love getting out to help in its restoration and see how the plants have grown from year to year.

Hiltaba: Connecting the East Meets West Wildlife Corridor

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

June 2012

The Foundation is very pleased to announce the acquisition of its fifth conservation property owned and managed outright or in partnership. The property is Hiltaba Station, a 78,000 hectare former pastoral property bordering the Gawler Range National Park on the Eyre Peninsula.

The addition of Hiltaba to the National Reserve System almost connects 750 kilometres of the East Meets West NatureLinks Corridor spanning from the WA-SA border to the Eastern Eyre Peninsula, save for just 30 kilometres.

The Commonwealth Government's Caring for our Country program contributed two thirds of the purchase price, with the Foundation's Land Purchase Fund (created by the State Government) providing the balance.

Hiltaba contains habitat for nine Commonwealth species of significance, forty state listed species of significance and four species which are endemic to the Gawler Ranges Region. The most significant conservation assets are the presence of three nationally listed vulnerable species: Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby, Malleefowl and Slender-billed Thornbill.

The immediate focus of conservation efforts is management of feral pests, particularly goats and foxes, which pose a threat to these endangered species.

We hope to commence a biological survey of Hiltaba in Spring 2012 and establish fauna and flora monitoring that track improvements as the property is turned over to conservation. This will come at a significant cost of $30,000, to which we are currently seeking donations.

Government House 30th Anniversary Reception

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

May 2012

On Thursday 24th of May, Nature Foundation SA and its supporters and volunteers were invited by His Excellency, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, to Government House to acknowledge the great achievements of the Foundation and the people that have generously made everything possible. His Excellency and Mrs Scarce welcomed around 100 invitees to the ballroom of Government House and served refreshments and hors d'oeuvres.

His Excellency spoke about the history of the Foundation dating all the way back to 1981. Special mentions were bestowed onto the founders Warren Bonython AO, Dr Mark Bonnin, David Cleland and Barbara Hardy AO. His Excellency mentioned the outstanding breadth of the Foundation's work and how it continues to make a great contribution to the state of South Australia.

President, Bob Lott, was invited to speak on behalf of the Foundation and was honoured by the recognition. Bob Lott also made reference to the four major initiatives of the foundation: Research, BushbankSA, Nature Gains and Water for Nature. Lastly, Bob Lott spoke about the growth of the Foundation and the role of the government, corporates, members and donors who have continued to generously support the foundation.

Three recognition certificates were awarded by His Excellency to outstanding contributors to the Foundation. Firstly, Renee Thompson received a certificate on behalf of the Riverland West LAP for their tireless work at Hogwash Bend. Pauline Baulderstone received a certificate on behalf of the Bookpurnong Lock 4 Environmental Association. The most significant certificate was presented to Elizabeth Law-Smith for her outstanding contribution of the Para Woodlands property in memory of her late husband David Law-Smith , and her ongoing funding to return it to its natural state.

Charles Warren Bonython AO, 11 September 1916 – 2 April 2012

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

April 2012

The Council, Staff and Volunteers of the Nature Foundation SA mourn the passing of Mr Warren Bonython AO on Monday the 2nd of April 2012 and extend our deepest condolences to Bunty and family.

In 1981 Warren, Barbara Hardy AO, David Cleland and Mark Bonnin AO joined forces and became the founding members of the National Parks Foundation of South Australia Inc., the group that would ultimately become one of South Australia's premier environmental organisations -Nature Foundation SA.

Warren served as our President from 1985 to 1989 and was awarded our highest honour for dedicated service as a Fellow in 2004. Nature Foundation SA was privileged to have had his dedication, knowledge and support for the last thirty years. Committed to environmental conservation in general and South Australia in particular, Warren has left a lasting legacy for all South Australians. Thank you Warren and good bye.

Thick-billed Grasswren Environmental Offset

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

August 2011

The former distribution of Thick-billed Grasswrens once covered much of inland Australia. Since European settlement, the species has undergone a major contraction in range, particularly A.t. textilis and A.t. modestus. As a result of this decline, all three subspecies are listed as vulnerable under the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Nature Foundation SA and WPG Resources Ltd (WPG) have recently formed a partnership to undertake a significant research project into the behaviour, ecology and genetics of the A.t. modestus as part of an environmental offset incurred by WPG's mining activities at Peculiar Knob, near Coober Pedy.

Click here for more (PDF)

Nature Foundation SA announces Patrons

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

June 2011

With Nature Foundation SA celebrating our 30th Anniversary this year, we are extremely fortunate to have two patrons each with a lifetime's commitment to nature and conservation: Barbara Hardy AO and Dick Smith AO.

Click here for more (PDF)


Insight into the lives of Pygmy Bluetongues

Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

February 2011

To conserve a population, it is important to have healthy genetic diversity. In a stable population this is often provided by genetic flow between and within the populations as a result of dispersing individuals. In fragmented or disjunct habitats the gene flow is often inadequate or missing. This project explores aspects of gene flow and dispersal to be used in conservation actions for the endangered PygmyBluetongue Lizard.

Click here for more (PDF)


Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA)

On Sunday, 13th June 2010, some 60 people attended the launch of the Hon Justice Christopher Legoe's land at Salt Creek and the unveiling of a plaque in tribute to Colin Thiele AC. Overall it was quite a turnout in the little road stop of Salt Creek and caught some attention around the state. A press release put out by the Hon Bob Such MP attracted community interest via an article in the Sunday Mail  headed "Coorong tribute to Thiele", ABC radio news reports and a long interview on Sunday morning on ABC National's Australia All Over. Bob Such has been campaigning to have Colin Thiele recognised more widely and has helped facilitate the land gift and memorial. Bob attended and helped Mrs Rhonda Thiele, Colin's wife, unveil the plaque after a stirring oration from Dr Alan Brissenden AM who was a close friend of Colin.

[Click the photo above to see a larger version of Hon Dr Bob Such MP, Hon Justice Christopher Legoe, Mrs Rhonda Thiele, and David Moyle AM (President, NFSA) just after the unveiling.]

Colin Thiele Memorial Plaque

[Click on the photo, below right, to read the Colin Thiele Memorial Plaque.]

The Legoe land is 13 ha of pristine Coorong bushland, very bio-diverse and fronting the actual Salt Creek (the creek, not the town) leading into the Coorong proper. It is continuous with the current Coorong National Park and is a fine addition to the Park. Steve Bourne, from Department of Environment & Heritage (now DENR), spoke at the ceremony acknowledging the generous gift of the land via the Foundation.

It was a memorable event for the Foundation in being able to show recognition in memory of and respect for the life and work of Colin Thiele AC and to thank Christopher Legoe for his generosity in donating this land at Salt Creek.

WITCHELINA - A Nature Foundation SA Reserve

The Hon Peter Garrett MP and our patron, the Hon Ian McLachlan AO, unveil the Witchelina - A Nature Foundation SA Reserve plaque. (Photo by Peter Taylor)

The Hon Peter Garrett MP made a flying visit into the Outback, along with an entourage of journalists and over 50 guests for possibly the single biggest event (so far) in the life of the Foundation: the launch of Witchelina - A Nature Foundation SA Reserve on Friday the 4th of June 2010.

To purchase this significant property, Nature Foundation SA assembled a comprehensive funding package which included a major contribution from the Commonwealth's Caring for our Country initiative together with very considerable contributions from the South Australian Government and five resource companies. These five companies elected to discharge their environmental offset obligations through this project: Santos Ltd, Beach Energy Ltd, Victoria Petroleum NL, Epic Energy Ltd and Stuart Petroleum Ltd.

At just over 4,200 square kilometres, more than twice the size of urban Adelaide, Witchelina is the largest property ever purchased for the National Reserve System through Caring for our Country. The huge size of this conservation corridor boosts the resilience of the parks and reserves within it, providing opportunities for native species to adapt to a changing climate, fire and drought.

The new reserve also forms a vital habitat link from South Australia's Lake Torrens into the Northern Territory, covering almost 10 million hectares. It is part of the world's first transcontinental wildlife corridor being created through the heart of Australia's outback, between Port Augusta and Arnhem Land.

Witchelina has a long social history. The property straddles the boundaries of the Adnyamathanha and Arabunna peoples who have continued a strong spiritual connection to their country. After European occupation, Witchelina operated as a pastoral station for more than 140 years. We are greatly encouraged by the interest shown by our neighbours and the local outback community and we look forward to a cooperative working relationship.

Baseline survey work by BushBlitz is planned to get a detailed picture of the reserve's biodiversity and the Foundation anticipates exciting new discoveries especially in plants and reptiles.

We are also heartened by the interest shown in the project by the scientific community and we also thank Primary Industries & Resources SA (PIRSA), SA Chamber of Mines & Energy (SACOME), the Native Vegetation Council, the SA Arid Lands NRM Board and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for their ongoing support.

Building these environmental gains will take several decades and this management responsibility represents a significant commitment fy NFSA that will require considerable ongoing resources. If you would like to contribute, please click here to go to our DONATE page.

Click the image above to download a copy of the brochure.


How you can Help Nature

Individuals, couples and families can become members or you can donate funds, land, in kind support or volunteer time and expertise, or consider a bequest, ensuring a legacy beyond your lifetime.

Businesses can become a corporate member or partner with us by providing sponsorship for any one of our programs, from on-the-ground projects, to events, research grants, scholarships, community programs.